On Wed 22nd November, Assistant Benjamin Browning presented the incoming Lord Mayor, American-born Professor Michael Mainelli, with a prize-winning turkey in time for his family’s Thanksgiving celebrations at Mansion House. Many thanks to Benjamin for this timely gesture, which earned the Poulters’ Company an honourable mention in the ‘Lord Mayor’s Address to the Livery’ that took place later that same day!
On 11th Nov, IPM Liz Garner led a small group of Poulters in the Lord Mayor’s Show.
Representing the Poulters as part of float 17 – The Ancient Livery Companies, were the Immediate Past Master, Elizabeth Garner, her consort, Mr Martyn Buttery, The Clerk Emeritus, Julie Pearce, and Liverymen Katherine Oldridge, Ivor Cook & Chris James.
The morning started freshly, but the weather held and was dry and a very pleasant temperature for walking.
The streets were well lined with people, many scout and brownie groups lined the way for Hi-5’s.
A fabulous finger buffet lunch was provided at Carmen’s Hall, which was also a great location to be able to celebrate the new Lord Mayor as he passed in his golden coach. He spotted our banner and did call out “The Poulters” as he doffed his cap. At one point on the walk, we did hear one mother talking to her children, on reading our banner, she asked her children “do you know what poulters do?” it was lovely to hear that we were educating the young and getting people engaged in the Livery.
A great time was had by all. If you didn’t manage to attend, have a watch on iPlayer as you will see us walk past the front of the screen just after 27 minutes in.
On Monday 6th November, the annual Court & Livery dinner was held amid the 18th Century splendour of Trinity House by the Tower of London. Excellent food and wines were followed by an inspiring speech from our principal guest, Mr Roland Martin, Headmaster of the City of London Freemen’s School. Other distinguished guest included the Master Distiller and the Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment. The absence of piano accompaniment did not diminish the enthusiasm with which Sung Grace was tackled and it was a particular pleasure that our Honorary Chaplain was able to join us after recuperating from his accident abroad earlier this year. Many thanks to the IPM, who despite having had a very busy day stood in for the Master on the night (ill health prevented him from attending, but he sent his best wishes and he was heartily toasted by the Company towards the end of proceedings).
Once again the Poulters organised this prestige event held at the Guildhall, this year the weather was kind and the sun shone all morning, although it was a bit windy!
30 full Livery teams took part with an additional 11 Masters running in the Masters Qualifying Race. As ever the runners were very competitive and the standard was high, we even had our first wheelchair participant.
- Masters Race – Framework Knitters
- Liveryman Race – Insurers
- Ladies Race – Constructors
- Novelty Race – Framework Knitters
- Victor Ludorum – Framework Knitters
- Winner of the Fancy Dress Competition – Fuellers
This year we had new caterers, The Clink https://theclinkcharity.org/ who I am pleased to say are happy to be involved again next year, thank you to Lizzie and Johny and all the team.
Also as ever many thanks to Glovers, Fruiterers, Gunmakers and Clockmakers for their continued support and contribution to making this event so successful.
Finally I would like to thank Court Assistant Liz Garner for organising the event for the third year, ably assisted by Liveryman Alex Brooker and myself, plus our volunteer of stewards on the day!
An excellent £4,500 was raised from the event, which is split between the Lord Mayor’s Charities and the Master Poulters Pelican Trust.
Here’s to next year’s event on the 25th February, hope you are all in training!
Watermen’s Hall was the venue for the Court & Livery Dinner on the 9th November 2018, it was a sell out event, enjoyed by Liverymen and their guests. Catering by Mark Grove and his The Cook and The Butler team, as ever a delicious meal.
[gdl_gallery title=”Livery Dinner 9th November 2018″ width=”150″ height=”150″ ]
The entertainment this year was provided by Martin Toal, Tenor and Violinist Honor Watson, the unique mix of music between courses, accumulated with a splendid sing-along, which I am well informed, was also enjoyed by passers- by in the street below.
A Kelly Bronze Turkey raffle, with all proceeds being donated to the Master’s Charity for the year, The Coombe Trust, was a huge success. The winning envelope was chosen by the Company’s Guest, the Deputy Honorary Colonel of the Royal Anglian Regiment, Brigadier Woodham CBE., MC. The Master Robert Haynes and his Wife Mary, hope the evening will be forever remembered by those who attended.
Photographs courtesy of Ben Broomfield
On a windy but lovely sunny day, a group of Poulters descended on Kelly Farms, Danbury, Chelmsford. For some of us harden City types this was quite an experience!
Those travelling by train arrived at Chelmsford Station to be greeted by Paul Kelly and his ‘old’ Land Rover, which we piled into the back of via a mobile step, health and safety would have had a field day with it!!! On arrival at Kelly Farms, we joined the rest of the party who had arrived the night before and had been generously fed and watered by our superb hosts Paul and Derek Kelly. Following an informative presentation on the Kelly Bronze Turkeys, we had a tour of the Hatchery and then on, in convey, to see the free range turkeys, in their natural environment.
We were greeted by gobbling and squeaks and that was just Paul! It was fascinating to see them in the field and forest roaming with nature, friendly birds, which did peck some of our party! Onto lunch, which was you guessed Turkey, cooked and carved expertly by Paul, what he doesn’t know about turkeys, isn’t worth knowing! After a delicious buffet lunch, it was onto the Processing Plant, vast buildings, that often remain empty many months of the year, but that are a hive of activity for the Christmas Turkey production, it was easy to imagine how much work went on at that busy time.
The day went far too quick and it was time to depart, I know I and my fellow Poulters, will never forget the excellent day out and the enthusiasm and hospitality of Paul, his family and staff, Kelly Bronze is a real testament to their hard work and dedication, long may they continue as one of the fore runners in the Turkey world!
Julie Pearce, Clerk
Photographs – Reginald Beer JP, Renter Warden
The Master’s Charity Bike Ride from London to Paris
22nd June 2017
‘Poulters to Paris’
Bike Ride for the RABI the Masters chosen charity.
Way back in the depths of Winter Master George Harris sent an email asking if anyone was into cycling, the only person mad enough to reply was one of the newest members of the company; me. We met up to discuss plans, John O’ Groats, Moscow, Paris or the Pub, we settled on Paris but never wanting things to be too easy we settled on a route via the Great War Battle Fields. 2000 miles of training & 15 weeks later the day finally arrived, we had a very nice Mid-Summer Lunch before an early night ready for the big off from the Armourers Hall in the Old City of London.
Day one consisted of fighting our way through the London traffic & into the Kent countryside, picking up a couple of punctures & riding through a heavy thunderstorm on the way to Dover, we rolled in just in time for the ferry to Calais where we spent the night; ready for the next leg to Arras.
Day two was a lovely ride through the French countryside, the route kept us mainly on single track roads & at one point we ended up on a gravel farm track! The farming was excellent, professional & large scale, we saw 7 pea viners working in one field & the crops were amazing.
After a night in the lovely city of Arras day 3 was through the Somme to Compiegne, we had a few Poulters who had relatives lost in the Great War & we had promised to try & find there memorials. This resulted in a detour & having got a little lost we ended up with nearly 100 mile day.
We visited the Thiepval Memorial to the Fallen of the Battle of the Somme, The British Army suffered over 60,0000 casualties in one day on July 1st 1916, neither of us could speak during the visit, it was overwhelming & even writing this now the emotion is powerful. We found the inscription of Fred Byrtles a soldier of the Lincs & Derby Regiment. We both said a prayer then back in the saddle. Within 10 miles we had crossed the old front lines & came across the German Cemetery, this was just as emotional, just farm lads & ordinary people just like our lads, what a waste, we had some deep conversations for the rest of the days ride about the order of society & its injustices back then.
After a night in a grotty hotel in Compeigne we had our last leg to Paris, through beautiful woodlands & Villages. The villages & Chateaus getting bigger & grander as we neared Paris, eventually we came over the crest of a hill & there it was, the Paris skyline, the Eiffel Tower, Domes & towers all laid out ahead of us, only 20 miles to go… the traffic in Paris was like being attacked on all sides but after battling through it we arrived at the famous Arc du Triumph where we rode around it & down the Champs Elyse just like the end of the Tour de France.
We had a great trip, rode 334 miles, 15,000 feet of ascent, 15,000 calories & in the process over £10,000 for Farmworkers & Farmers less fortunate than us.
To date they have raised £13,411.43.